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Todd Richards Named Wild Head Coach

Dan CareyCorrespondent IJune 15, 2009

UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 25: Marian Gaborik #10 of the Minnesota Wild skates against the New York Islanders on March 25, 2009 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Reports out of Minnesota are reporting that the Minnesota Wild have finally found the successor to Jacques Lemaire as the team's head coach.

Todd Richards, a former assistant for the San Jose Sharks, will become the second coach in the team's eight year history. On top of being an assistant coach for San Jose, Richards coached the Pittsburgh Penguins minor league affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Richards took the team to Calder Cup finals last season.

With the NHL draft right around the corner, Richards will have to address a few issues including superstar right wing Marian Gaborik who is a free agent. Gaborik, 27, turned down many contract extensions from former General Manager Doug Risebrough before missing all but 17 games last season.

It seems that the new Wild regime want to get away from Jacques Lemaire's "defensive trap" game plan and switch to a aggressive, offensive style which Richards used as a coach of the Penguins minor league affiliate and the San Jose Sharks.

June 26 and the NHL Entry Draft will officially mark the beginning of a new era for new GM Chuck Fletcher, Richards, and the Minnesota Wild.

Dan Carey is co-founder of Minnesota Sports Guys blog at: http://themnsportsguys.blogspot.com/ and a sports-humor writer at www.BleacherReport.com. He can be contacted at: yamaharider1228@aol.com

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